The changing, and shrinking, comics

I saw in The Daily Cartoonist today, that cartoonist Jim Keefe, cartoonist for Sally Forth, who previous was the writer and artist of Flash Gordon, wrote in his blog a few years ago, about the size, or rather, lack of size of the printed comic strips today.

A few years back I showed this example here, the comics in the Miami Herald – smaller than postage stamps!

I think this is the time I realized that my dream of being a published newspaper cartoonist was not my dream anymore.

I know people read the newspaper comics, but not many. I haven’t read the actual newspaper comics for years, and by years, I mean a decade or more. I think I gave up with The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County left the comics pages. Today I read them online, where you can pick and choose your favorites and sort of make up your own comics page at GoComics.com and Comics Kingdom and other sites like Webtoons.

I think one of the best places these days to publish and to read comics is Instagram. You can follow the comics you like, flip through them one panel at a time and they easily come up in your daily feed, you don’t have to look for them. I publish there Monday thru Friday.

I’m enjoying reading old “Our Boarding House” comic panels featuring Major Hoople, from the 1920s and ’30s, on Facebook. A couple of groups post one Major Hoople panel a day, it has a lot of devoted fans.

In the past I always felt that I had to be published in the newspapers – it was why comic strips were created – to be in the newspapers. Just like movies – created to be seen on the big silver screen. But today big features show up on streaming services and most comics show up online or on social media.

And with both of these situations, you can control what you see, when you see it and how you see it. You can watch a movie on your 3 inch phone or 65 inch tv – same with the comics and those tiny, postage sized comics can be easily blown on on any screen for easing viewing.

By not being confined to daily newspaper publication, you can vary your schedule, you can change the size of the panels – make them longer, shorter, etc. Not be edited, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it, and probably the best part – publish instantly without a four to eight week lag time. I can’t imagine these days completing a comic strip or panel and then waiting eight weeks to see it in print.

Of course, publishing online rather than with a syndicate in newspapers has one major drawback – no money – you don’t get a salary. But times are changing. NFT’s seem to be something interesting to look at these days along with other money-making ideas for artists and cartoonists.

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